Contrary to here in South Africa where there have been huge "HAPPY CHRISTMAS" signs hanging in the shops for a couple of weeks now, in the US, everyone is gearing up for Thanksgiving. and every American knows Christmas is not supposed to appear in the shops or on the radio until Black Friday - the day AFTER Christmas.
It seems these past couple of weeks of preparing and celebrating for some of these holiday traditions (Halloween, All Saints Day, Thanksgiving), I've been missing them. Little pieces of home that go with the changing of seasons. Sure, its a different change of seasons here, but as my fall turned to winter here last year, I still had holidays to mark that change: Easter, for example.
But this time, I'm left without those markers that bring the mark of the new season.
Seeing as how just living in another country doesn't take the American out of me, I've decided there are things about these traditions worth keeping, so I'm seeking to educate and share rather than lament them. To do that, I'm planning things like a Thanksgiving feast for a group of friends. Fortunately, there is one other resident American among that group of friends, so we'll be sharing in the cooking fun.
More than the food and the one day of celebration, I like that Thanksgiving reminds us to be thankful. Via Facebook, a few friends have issued challenges to post something each day about what we are thankful for. I love this idea! To be honest, though, I likely won't change my status every day. But I will be writing down at least one new thing each day I am thankful for. Its only one thing - it isn't difficult!
American or not, I invite you to step up to this challenge as well. Feel free to share them publicly such as on Facebook, or to write them down in a journal. But record them, don't just think of them. What are you thankful for. Really? Then at the end of the month, we'll all have lists of things we will remember we are thankful for. As for me, I hope that list will be reflected as I then transition into the New Year - how can what I am thankful for today be celebrated and lived into in the new year? 2011 is just around the corner...
Today, I did post what I am thankful for, with a bit of a precursor, even. After a sleepless night of tossing and turning and eventually an early rise, I realized that I am thankful for shelter and a place to lie my head at night.
What are you thankful for?